Jaxon and Phoebe settle in their basket for the MainStreet Roswell 2013 Easter Parade at the Chaves County Courthouse, Saturday. (Mark Wilson Photo)
MainStreet Roswell offered a step back in time Saturday as children dressed in bright Easter dresses and straw hats raced around carrying eggs on spoons and jumped to the finish line in gunnysacks on the courthouse lawn.
“Everybody had a good time,” said Peggy Seskey, president of MainStreet Roswell. “There were no losers.”
Brightly-colored Easter bonnets sheltered the faces of the many folks who strolled through the grounds pushing strollers, decorated carts and costumed pets.
The third annual Easter Parade celebration offered contests for several entrants, including best-dressed adults and children, best bonnets and best-dressed pets.
The parade, though it turned out to be short, was full of seasonal cheer as it wound its way around the courthouse.
“We just wanted to bring them downtown for a simple family Easter to stroll on the courthouse lawn and have a music parade,” Seskey said. “You know, ‘In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it.’”
Some 250 people came out to enjoy the afternoon, with temperatures reaching into the low 80 degrees.
The parade started at 1 p.m., but the fun started much earlier. Children cheered as they raced to the finish line carrying eggs on spoons, trying not to drop them.
Other activities included visiting with the Easter Bunny, face painting, a piñata,
“I like playing the games out here,” Elle Christianson, 6, said. She stayed close to her mother and grandmother, who all wore handmade pink bonnets with decorative eggs and items sewn carefully on top.
Denise Chistianson, Ella’s mother, and Susan, her grandmother, make a point of attending each year.
Ella took home the prize for best child’s bonnet.
“This is our third year in a row,” Denise Christianson said. She also said she spends time making all of the Easter bonnets her mother, daughter and she wore this year.
The youngest of the three liked the games the most, she said.
Susan, who took time off from work to come to the event, said she enjoyed watching her granddaughter participate in the events.
“She’s been so excited about coming to play,” she said.
MainStreet Roswell, an organization that is dedicated to encouraging and fostering the preservation of historic downtown, works with local government, property owners and merchants to rehabilitate and maintain buildings, while encouraging economic growth in the downtown area.
The Easter Parade is one event that the organization hopes will encourage more people to enjoy their downtown, Seskey said.
“This is just payback to the community,” she said. “There is no charge for this. People can walk around and have a nice fun time.”
Evette and Edgar Romero brought their children Sophia, 2, and Yaire, 6. Evette Romero said she liked the atmosphere and being with her family.
She enjoyed, “just being out here in the community,” she said.
This year’s winners were: Christianson for best child’s Easter bonnet; Jeannee Hunter for best adult Easter bonnet; Zyon Stevenson for best dressed child; Howard and Nellie Becker for best dressed adults; Reese Hunter for best vintage bonnet; Phoebe and Jackson, and their owners Crystal Hester and Kendra Jones for best dressed pets; and Kale Hunter for the best push/pull float.
The Dooley Family, which included Jacqueline, Scarlett, Victoria and Sophia, were clad in matching green checkered dresses with bright pink ribbons and bows, matching white shoes and pink tights.
“They made us think of Easter,” Seskey said. “It reminded me of the vintage past. Even their brother had on a straw hat.”
The best push/pull float, made by Kale Hunter, was a red wagon made into a basket with packing paper. A bunny sat in it with kale décor.
Downtown merchants donated prizes, including gift cards by Once Again Consignments and Debbie’s Deals. Each winner was given a yard sign to post in their gardens, and a basket of goodies to go along with their prizes.
Everyone who wanted to could walk in the parade, whether they were dressed in their Easter finery or not.
“The weather couldn’t have been better,” said Juliana Halvorson, who organized the event. “It’s perfect.”